COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Physicians for Reproductive Rights and Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom, working together, have officially filed language with the Ohio Attorney General’s office, moving forward with their mission to leave abortion access up to the voters.
Here is what they are proposing as an amendment to the Ohio Constitution:
- Every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s own pregnancy, miscarriage care, and abortion.
- The State shall not, directly or indirectly, burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate against either an individual’s voluntary exercise of this right or a person or entity that assists an individual exercising this right, unless the State demonstrates that it is using the least restrictive means to advance the individual’s health in accordance with widely accepted and evidence-based standards of care.
- However, abortion may be prohibited after fetal viability. But in no case may such an abortion be prohibited if in the professional judgment of the pregnant patient’s treating physician, it is necessary to protect the pregnant patient’s life or health.
- As used in this Section, “Fetal viability” means “the point in a pregnancy when, in the professional judgment of the pregnant patient’s treating physician, the fetus has a significant likelihood of survival outside the uterus with reasonable measures. This is determined on a case-by-case basis”; and “State” includes any governmental entity and political subdivision.
“This amendment will finally stop the extremist politicians who have passed harmful laws time and again and who continually seek to insert themselves in the private decisions of patients and doctors,” Jessie Hill with Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom said.
“We’re fully committed to taking this fight to the public square and having this debate with the 8 million voters,” Mike Gonidakis with Ohio Right to Life said. “But at the end of the day, this is so vaguely written that there will be no limits or no restrictions and that’s not where Ohio is.”
To file the language for a constitutional amendment, the group needed 1,000 signatures, but they collected 7,000.
The Ohio Attorney General still has to certify that there are enough valid signatures. Once the attorney general approves the language and signatures, it will go to the ballot board for approval. The group then must collect more than 400,000 signatures by July 5 to get the proposal on the ballot this fall.